Bain Capital and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) have created Cerevel Therapeutics, a new biopharmaceutical company that is focused on developing drug candidates to treat disorders of the central nervous system. Bain Capital and Bain Capital Life Sciences have committed $350 million to Cerevel and Pfizer is contributing a portfolio of pre-commercial neuroscience assets. Cereval has several active drug programs in development with the most advanced scheduled to enter Phase III in 2019. The latter is designed to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. “We are dedicated to developing this promising portfolio of assets thoughtfully, and will provide the right resources to enable Cerevel to build an experienced leadership team that is committed to developing life changing therapies for patients who are struggling with CNS diseases,” says Bain Capital managing director Chris Gordon. Pfizer recently said that it will invest $600 million into its venture capital arm Pfizer Ventures. About $150 million of the funds will be used to back early-stage neuroscience companies, particularly those that focus on neuro-degeneration, neuro-inflammation and neuro-metabolic disorders. Separately, Bain Capital has invested in replacement tire and parts distributor Dealer Tire.

For private equity, the game plan for cashing in on the U.S. shale boom is shifting from quick flips to long-term commitments, according to one veteran energy investor. With big, publicly traded drillers less eager to spend on acquisitions, private explorers that once counted on being gobbled up in three to five years are having to recalibrate, Howard Newman, chief executive officer at New York-based investment firm Pine Brook, tells Bloomberg News. Read the full story: Private equity shifts shale strategy to long haul.

Deal news
Dyal Capital Partners, a division of Neuberger Berman, has bought a minority stake in private equity firm American Securities LLC. “We are delighted to welcome Dyal as an investor as we continue to grow our Firm and strive to continue to achieve great results for our investors,” says American Securities CEO Michael Fisch. Evercore Inc. (NYSE: EVR) and Weil Gotshal & Manges advised American Securities. Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson advised Dyal.

Sixpoint Partners has raised $200 million to launch SP Capital Partners, a fund that will invest in spinout private equity managers. The fund will be led by former Dyal Capital executive Jeff Lavoie.

George Feldenkeris has completed the $437 acquisition of Perry Ellis, the company he founded in 1967. Feldenkreis and his son Oscar, who is the company’s CEO, owned a combined 18 percent stake in Perry Ellis before the deal was announced. Proskauer Rose and Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP are advised George Feldenkreis. PJ Solomon, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Akerman LLP are advising the board’s special committee.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is acquiring the stake it does not already own in Japanese skincare products maker Ci:Z Holdings Co. for about $2 billion. Cravath, Swaine & Moore is representing Johnson & Johnson,

LLR Partners-backed Learn Behavioral has invested in Total Spectrum, a provider of behavioral treatment services. Livingstone advised Total Spectrum.

Clearlake Capital is buying Symplr, a healthcare Software-as-a-Service firm, from Pamlico Capital and the Capstreet Group. Tripletree and Harris Williams are advising Clearlake. William Blair and is advising the sellers.

SmartBear Software has bought Zephyr, a provider of testing software, from Frontier Capital. William Blair and Womble Bond Dickinson advised the sellers.

Platinum Equity-backed PLI Card Marketing Solutions has acquired Harvard Card Systems, a card printer and gift card manufacturer. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher advised Platinum and PLI. Lincoln International and Leech Tishman advised Harvard.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has purchased a minority stake in GreenSlate, a payroll software company for the entertainment industry. Ropes & Gray represented Veronis Suhler.

Weller Equity has acquired a majority stake in Mirac Inc. The target designs printed circuit boards and wire harnesses for the consumer, energy and industrials sectors. Frost Brown and BKD advised Weller.

Apax Partners-backed Authority Brands has purchased swimming pool services provider America’s Swimming Pool Co.

Caterpillar Ventures, the venture capital arm of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is investing in Fisker Inc., a developer of battery technology for electric cars.

Featured content
The NFL season heads into Week 8. Off the field, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recently teamed with former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who is the co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America, to launch a sports media startup called Religion of Sports Media, which has raised $3 million in venture capital funding from CourtsideVC and Advancit Capital. Many NFL players invest in companies. Muhsin Muhammad, who played wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and the Chicago Bears, is a managing director of private equity firm Axum Capital Partners. Steve Young, former San Francisco 49ersquarterback, is a co-founder of private equity firm HGGC. Mergers & Acquisitions takes a look at star players who invest in companies through private equity, venture capital and other investment vehicles.

Mergers & Acquisitions identifies 15 cities as fertile communities for dealmaking. We look at metropolitan areas from Austin (where Michael Dell launched a PC business out of his dorm room back in the day and where thousands gather every year for SXSW) to St. Louis(home of private equity firm Thompson Street Capital Partners). Be sure to check out Milwaukee (with private equity firm Robert W. Baird & Co. and investment bank Clearly Gull) and Minneapolis (home of strategic buyers 3M, Best Buy, General Mills, Hormel and Target). And don’t forget Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and more. See our list, Dealmaker’s guide to 15 cities where M&A thrives.

Why investors like diversity. “Companies that are inclusive and also diverse tend to outperform companies that aren’t,” says investor Lorine Pendleton of Pipeline Angels and Portfolia in this video interview shot at Exponent Exchange, a gathering of 200 female dealmakers. Watch the full video: M&A Insights: Inclusion investing.

It’s a busy week for dealmakers on the east coast. Networking tees off on the links with the M&A East Annual Golf Outing on Oct. 23 at the Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania. Then there’s M&A East at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia Oct. 24-25. The annual conference brings together 1,300 top strategic and financial dealmakers and leading middle-market advisors for deal sourcing and networking. Featured speakers include Walter Robb, former CEO Whole Foods, and Chris Voss, former FBI lead hostage negotiator. The Women in Dealmaking session will focus on Women in the Board Room.

In New York, women dealmakers gather on Oct. 25 for Exponent Evening with Tequila Casa Dragones. The event features tequila sipping and a fireside chat with Casa Dragones CEO Bertha Gonzalez Nieves, conducted by Mergers & Acquisitions editor-in-chief Mary Kathleen Flynn. Nieves co-founded Casa Dragones in 2008 with Bob Pittman, the prolific media executive best known for co-founding MTV Networks. “Casa Dragones is a small batch tequila producer with a passion for crafting extraordinary tequilas one bottle at a time,” as the company’s website puts it. The tequila has become a favorite of connoisseurs, including Oprah Winfrey. At the Exponent event, Nieves will share stories about the company’s founding and growth. Exponent Women is a new group for female dealmakers, and it is gaining momentum quickly, attracting sponsors, including Merrill Corp., Duff & Phelps, J.P. Morgan. For more on the group’s previous event, see Exponent drew 200 women dealmakers to event featuring Sallie Krawcheck.

ACG Chicago’s Family Office Conference, held Nov. 8, at the Westin Chicago River North, brings deamakers together for a “deep dive” into family offices. The event features a keynote by Laurent Roux, Gallatin Wealth Management, and panels, including: Current State of Family Office Direct & Co-Investment Activity, with Gary Levenstein, Nixon Peabody; and Impact of Millennial Generation on Family Office Investment Strategy including Social Impact Investing, with Adam Lieb and Tony Oommen, Fidelity Family Office Services.

ACG Florida Capital Connection, held Nov. 12-14, at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, puts “sun and fun” into dealmaking for the middle market, bringing together hundreds of dealmakers. The keynote speaker is Forbes Media CEO Steve Forbes, and the featured speaker for the Women’s Forum is Valerie Crites Fowler, who served as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service for over 29 years, reaching the rank of Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service.

Middle Market Week, hosted by ACG New York and held Nov. 26-30 at various locations throughout New York, brings together leading global middle-market dealmaking professionals to develop and enhance their dealmaking activities, strengthen their long-term relationships, and provide numerous opportunities for networking all week long. Mark your calendar for the Private Equity Annual Wine Tasting Gala on Nov. 28 at Gotham Hall. The building was constructed in the 1920s as the headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank. The gala brings together the leading middle market private equity firms for an evening of fine wines and networking.